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Dogs FAQ


In the unfortunate event that your beloved pet should go missing log in to to report it as lost.

Should a member of the public then find your pet they can visit the site, see that it is reported as missing and easily obtain your contact details.

Download detailed instructions below for reporting lost or found pets online.

Alternatively if you are not able to access DACO when your dog goes missing you should contact Council as soon as possible to advise that your dog is missing. If Council has found your dog, it will be held (impounded) for 72 hours to allow you to claim it. If you have not claimed your dog after 72 hours under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 the dog may be transferred to animal welfare groups/organisations or be offered for adoption by Council. The Council is required to post a ‘Notification of Detention of Dog’ The Notification of Detention includes a description of the dog and details about where it was found.

If your dog is registered, the Council will be able to call you and let you know they have found your dog. For this reason it is very important to keep your dog registered and your contact details up to date. Also remember to update your microchip contact details.

Your pet should be wearing their registration tag, preferably with an identification tag. Many pet owners think that collar ID tags are unnecessary if their pets are microchipped. This is not true. If a lost dog is wearing collar identification and is found by a member of the public, it can be reunited with its owner without going to a Pound or Vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip. To release your dog from a pound, you must pay pound release fees. Expiations may be also issued.

Yes, you must have your dog on a leash (of no more than two metres in length) in all public places and in private places where you do not have the consent of the occupier to have your dog off-leash. Dogs must be on leash when walking along all public roads and footpaths unless otherwise signposted.

You can have your dog off-leash in ‘off-leash’ areas that are designated by Council. Even when off-leash, your dog must be under ‘effective control’ which means it returns when called and obeys commands. If your dog is not under effective control, you can be required to keep your dog on a leash in an off-leash area. Dogs that are not on a leash in a on-leash area or are not under effective control are considered to be wandering at large and may incur a $210 expiation fee.

Your dog does not have to be on a leash if it is inside a vehicle, tending stock and is a registered working dog, or if it is participating in a trial, show or class.

You can walk your dog off the leash in designated ‘Off Leash’ areas – Blue Lake Sports Park, Hastings Cunningham Reserve (including dog parks), Frew Park, Don McDonnell Reserve, Corriedale Park & Northumberland Avenue. Outside of these areas, all dogs must be on a leash.

Under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, dogs do need to be restrained if travelling in the open tray of a utility truck (ute) or similar vehicle. This means being transported in a cage or similar enclosure or tethered to the vehicle so that the dog cannot fall or escape from the vehicle. This does not apply to an accredited guide dog or a dog that is being used in the droving or tending of stock or is going to or returning from a place where it will be or has been so used.

There is no requirement for a dog to be restrained when travelling in other vehicle types. However, it is important to note that under the Animal Welfare Act 1985 it is an offence to commit an act which "intentionally, unreasonably or recklessly causes the animal unnecessary harm". Owners should therefore consider restraining dogs travelling in motor vehicles so that they are not unnecessarily harmed in the case of an accident.

There are five prescribed breeds of dog, these are:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Fila Braziliero
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dog Argentinia
  • Presa Canario

The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 requires that if you own a dog that is one of these breeds, it must be desexed and whilst not confined to your premises have a muzzle securely fixed onto its mouth so that it cannot bite a person or animal. It must also be under effective control by physical restraint, which means the dog must be on a leash which is no more than two meters in length. Any person, who sells, gives away or advertises for sale or to give away a dog of a prescribed breed is guilty of an offence.

The maximum penalty for a breach of Section 45B (prescribed breeds) of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 is $2500 per offence

Yes, under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, all dogs over three months old must be registered annually and within 14 days of you taking possession of the dog.

A person must be aged 16 years or over to register a dog.

Yes, you must notify your new council within 72 hours that the dog has moved to different premises. Failure to obey the registration law can incur an expiation fee of $80 or a $250 penalty and an additional penalty for every 14 days the registration fee remains unpaid. You must also notify your previous council that the dog is no longer in the previous premises. If you are moving to South Australia from interstate you must register your dog with your local council even if previously you had lifetime registration. Lifetime registration is non-transferrable.

Yes, Council is required to keep the dog register current and it is the responsibility of the owner to advise Council of a change of details.

It is an offence under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 for a dog to attack or harass a person or animal.

If you or your dog is attacked by another dog, once you are safe, try to get as many details as you can about the dog and report the attack to Council as soon as possible. Councils can investigate dog attacks and impose penalties on the dog owner as appropriate. If safe, record the registration tag details or if the owner is present and approachable, get their name, address and telephone number. Record the colour, breed and size of the dog and take a photo if safe. The more information you provide to the Council's Animal Management Officers the more likely it is that they will be able to identify the dog that attacked you.

In the case of a serious attack where you or your dog has been injured you should also call the police who are authorised under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 and can provide immediate assistance in an emergency.

A dog must be registered from the age of three months. An expiation may be issued if a dog over the age of three months is found to be unregistered.

Yes, it is a requirement of the Dog & Cat Management Act that your dog wears the registration disc securely attached to a collar. An expiation fee may be issued if a dog is found not to be wearing the registration disc. If you misplace or need a replacement animal registration tag, please call the Dog and Cat Management Board to order a replacement. Alternatively you can have your lifetime animal registration number engraved onto a metal disc from a local supplier.

A maximum of three dogs can be kept at a property, however, an application can be made to Council to obtain a permit to keep more than three dogs.

Download or obtain ‘Barking Dog Complaint Kit’ from Council, complete and submit to Council’s authorised officers who will work together with the owner of the dog to determine the cause and modify the behaviour of the dog.

If you happen to find a dog or cat and it is wearing a registration tag you should visit to see if the owner has reported it missing and attempt to get in contact with them. Download DACO instructions below.

These simple steps will help to ensure that pets are returned to their rightful owners as quickly as possible.

Council officers are available 24 hours to collect wandering / lost dogs that have been restrained. Please call the Council / After Hours Call Centre on 08 8721 2555.